There are some questions that you can’t stand to hear, much less answer. I totally get it. In the process of writing this, I re-asked myself these same questions, and I’m not going to lie, they were tough to even ask, let alone answer but by the end of this you will feel such a strong sense of clarity and relief by having done it. Although these next 15 questions are difficult right now, it will make your life much easier later on.
1. What am I afraid of?
It is what you most fear that you must do. It might seem counterintuitive but it is what has lead many of the most successful people to where they are today. It is a necessary paradox because in seeking out that which you fear, you become fearless. It’s almost as if in the moment that you confront your fear, you begin to see it for what it really is…an illusion and, by doing so, the veil comes down.
2. What can I do better?
One of the other needs we have in order to achieve long term happiness is the need for growth. You’re either going up or you’re going down, there is no in between. You have to betting better or by default, you’ll be getting worse. The good news is that you don’t have to be making drastic changes every day because that would just be unsustainable but rather small incremental changes. If you want to improve your health, then go to the gym consistently and each time increase your duration or intensity. Over time, these progressive (almost unnoticeable) changes will make a huge difference down the line.
3. What can I do better today?
Now that you know what needs to be improved, what can you do today, or even better yet, this very moment. Too many people save what they must do for when they want to and that is the wrong approach because in telling yourself that, you leave it to “someday I’ll.”
“Someday I’ll apply for that job.”
“Someday I’ll get in shape.”
“Someday I’ll finally have the courage to put myself out there.”
Start right now.
4. What are my bad habits?
We are creatures of habit. Because habits are pretty much automated and integrated into our day to day lives, it’s hard to realize which ones are the bad ones that are holding us back. Fixing these can create a long lasting positive effect in your life simply because tiny tweak implemented every day makes a huge difference in a year. One book that has completely changed my perspective on the importance of habits is The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. It’ll help you to realize just how important every little action is, because one decision to do or not to do can start the momentum that is hard to stop. If you do it once, it’s easier to do it again. That can be applied to positive habits and negative habits alike.
5. Am I comfortable?
If the answer is yes, then you have to immediately evaluate whether you are moving forward in your life because if you’re not creating, you’re disintegrating. It feels good to be in a safe position in life, especially if you’ve been struggling so hard to get there but after a while, the feeling subsides and you start to notice certain things in your life start to subside. Perhaps your health is no longer at what it once was a couple months ago, your earnings aren’t what you want anymore, and you might even feel bored. You have to challenge yourself to grow, or else you undo all the work you’ve done up to that point of giving up on your progress. Here’s something to consider: if there were no challenges in your life and everything was safe, predictable, and filled with monotony; would you be satisfied. Because we are insatiable creatures by nature, the answer would be no. Challenges add to the spice of life and allow you to grow and evolve as an individual.
6. How do I feel about myself?
The emotions we have during our day to day activities are a good indicator of the quality of our lives. If you’re walking through life depressed, anxious, and doubtful then that means there are certain things that you’re doing that are no longer serving you. These things might be harmful thoughts towards yourself or others. It might be hope- shattering such as “it works for him but that will never work for me because of some special condition that is only unique to me and no one else.” Of course no one says that, but you get the point. Improving your emotions is the foundation of improving your life. If you are not experiencing happiness on the inside, you will seek it on the outside and anything you try to achieve will be coming from the wrong intention. Some very useful practices that help with this is practicing meditation and gratitude on a daily basis. What this will do is shift your focus from what is missing in your life to what is going right, and it will allow you to become emotionally stable and not get easily riled up by any situation that life may throw your way.
7. Is what I’m doing right now bringing me one step closer to who I want to be?
Much of becoming the best version of yourself, is less about gaining something but rather letting go of what you no longer need like a bad environment, toxic people, detrimental habits, and doubtful thoughts. Identify what you are going to do today, but from a broader scale, you can see what your daily rituals or circumstances are and eliminate those that are not in line with what you want. To add to that point, there might be something that is missing like a morning ritual, for example. Everyone has one because there are certain actions they take every morning such as check their email in the morning, brush their teeth, etc. One crystal clear way of making this process easier is imagining what your perfect day would look like and then compare your current average day with your dream day.
You might notice that all these questions revolve around one central theme: self-awareness. Knowing who you are is the fundamental block from which to start any true change in your life. Once you know who you are, strangely enough, you’ll be able to understand others and be able to communicate with others much more effectively. Take the answers to the questions and start applying them to your life and to the degree you apply them consistently you will experience a significant change in your life.